philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

21May/18Off

A virtual reality baptism will strengthen Oregon man’s faith

This Sunday, Brian Leupold will become one of the first people baptized in virtual reality.

In his rural home in Amity, Leupold will slip on his Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, step into the VR Church he helped found, and immerse himself in the digital waters of spiritual renewal.

VR Church exists wholly in the realm of AltSpace, a virtual reality, social media landscape that, as of a year ago, had about 35,000 monthly active users. The tech is in its infancy – cartoonish and occasionally glitchy. But here, Leupold sees the future of an inclusive church community.

During a recent Sunday service at VR Church, Pastor DJ Soto's avatar, or digital persona, arrived as a white, legless, Preacherbot whose disembodied hands bobbed up and down as he gesticulated about God's grace.

The community of Christian virtual reality early adopters is relatively small, so it wasn't long before Leupold met two other men working on similar concepts. Alistair de B Clarkson, based in Australia, was developing a virtual reality Bible app to take users through stories from the Old Testament. DJ Soto was traveling in an RV across the U.S. and giving live sermons in AltSpace.

See the full story here: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/05/virtual_reality_church_co-foun.html

 

21May/18Off

Watch A Lifelike Striptease In Augmented Reality With Newly Released Demo

SusyGala_AR_01The adult entertainment industry has been one of the main adopters for new AR and VR technology as it continues to find new breakthroughs in bringing immersive entertainment to its users. The latest development from BaDoinkVR and ARPorn.com sees users able to bring the well known adult star Susy Gala into their own home and enjoy a virtual striptease with impressive, lifelike visuals.

The demo can be enjoyed with a head-mounted display (HMD) such as the Microsoft HoloLens, or a compatible smart device that is then used to view a placed AR marker which functions as an anchor point to then start the experience. By using ARJs and WebGL Polyfill stereo rendering, the lifelike experience can be achieved on mobile devices at a stable framerate.

See the full story here: https://www.vrfocus.com/2018/05/watch-a-lifelike-striptease-in-augmented-reality-with-newly-released-demo/

21May/18Off

MIT Researchers Are Using Virtual Reality to Prevent Drone Collisions

The “Flight Goggles” system, developed by MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems along with its Computer Science and Artifical Intelligence Laboratory, reportedly allows the unmanned aerial vehicle to “see” a complete virtual environment and navigate around intangible objects.

“We think this is a game-changer in the development of drone technology, for drones that go fast,” said Sertac Karaman, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “If anything, the system can make autonomous speed more responsive, faster, and more efficient.”

Members of the development team will present its findings at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Robotics and Automation next week.

Video footage shows the UAV flying rapidly through what's, in reality, a completely empty room. In virtual reality though, there are several obstacles, and the drone successfully navigates around them. This may not seem exciting to the casual onlooker, but this may help make autonomous drone flight safer and more reliable.

See the full story here: http://www.thedrive.com/tech/20935/mit-is-using-virtual-reality-to-prevent-drone-collisions

21May/18Off

Houston Symphony Experiments With Live Music, Dance, And Virtual Reality

Sacre_arms-1200x738 Sacre_stage-1200x800...artist and director Klaus Obermaier, who created The Rite of Spring 3D in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab.

The performance piece combines Igor Stravinsky’s iconic score with a live dancer, whose movements are captured by stereoscopic cameras. Complex computer programs then translate the motion into real-time 3D animations – or avatar dancers – projected on stage.

As the orchestra plays, their soundwaves are also fed into computers and influence the animations. The audience wears 3D glasses to be immersed in this virtual reality.

See the full story here: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/arts-culture/2018/05/18/286171/houston-symphony-experiments-with-live-music-dance-and-virtual-reality/

 

21May/18Off

Gatwick’s Augmented Reality Passenger App Wins Awards

Augmented-reality-being-used-in-Gatwicks-North-Terminal-1024x667The new Gatwick passenger app won the Mobile Innovation of the Year award at the National Technology awards recently, along with picking up the Mobile App of the Year award at the Real IT awards as well. Once more the airport itself won the Cloud Project of the Year award and the Real IT awards after becoming the world’s first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information System (FIDS).

See the full story here: https://www.vrfocus.com/2018/05/gatwick-airportsaugmented-reality-passenger-app-wins-awards/

21May/18Off

AR wave guide display mftr. DigiLens nabs $25M

11219567_1678077509091974_8273248602876906341_oDigiLens manufactures “waveguide displays,” which have been in use for a while but are pretty much the best technology available for making AR headset displays.

What distinguishes DigiLens is that their manufacturing process relies on them “printing” these reflective elements directly onto the sheets of glass, a feature the company says helps them keep costs lower than its competitors.

Though Sunnyvale-based DigiLens has perhaps gotten the most press for its work on miniature waveguide displays perfect for the first generation of augmented reality headsets, like many other display makers in that space they’ve found more immediate opportunity in making heads-up displays for cars and motorcycle helmets. This significant investment from Continental now pins the company’s equity stake in DigiLens at 18 percent, the company tells me.

DigiLens has raised $60 million in funding to date from investors, including Sony and Foxconn according to Crunchbase.

See the full story here: https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/17/augmented-reality-display-maker-digilens-nabs-25-million/

21May/18Off

Here’s how to hack an Ikea lamp and transform it into a mixed-reality projector

“The team wanted to explore the relation between augmented reality and everyday objects,” DelGaudio saidd. “We started by sketching possible containers that a projector might sit inside while in a home. A lamp is a natural fit because it is movable and already projects light. From there, the team iterated on various housing configurations and interaction design for assigning content, using the physical form.”

See the full story here: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/ikea-lamp-mixed-reality/

21May/18Off

Rogue Initiative, Emblematic Form Virtual Reality Content Agreement

cathy_twigg_headshot_-_p_2018Los Angeles-based digital entertainment startup Rogue Initiative has entered into a film, TV and immersive content development partnership with virtual, augmented and mixed reality content developer Emblematic Group.

The companies report that there are two productions in active development: Joan of Arc, which, "told as a political thriller, will embody her strength through a distinctly female perspective in a combined linear television and VR episodic format"; and Trashed aka Rock and Roll Hotel, a VR experience set to classic rock songs and hosted by a "legendary musician," which would "allow viewers to relive real-life instances of famous hotel room trashings and participate in the destruction."

An additional four to six joint projects are planned as part of the agreement.

Founded in 2015, Rogue is additionally developing VR content through a partnership with Michael Bay.

21May/18Off

Enormous, Multisensory Arena Heads To Las Vegas Strip 2020

MSGSphere_2 MSGSphere_4 MSGSphere_FeatureBut it’s Madison Square Garden Companies latest venture into large scale, shared experiences that may have just taken the cake in terms of immersive technology-based entertainment. Breaking ground this summer adjacent to Las Vegas Sands on the Las Vegas Strip, The MSG Sphere Las Vegas is an absolutely monstrous, 18,000-seat facility that will serve as a venue for concerts, sporting events, trade shows, and various other large happenings.

However it’s the immersive technology behind the revolutionary venue that makes this entire project so exciting. The exterior of the sphere is coated in LED screens capable of transforming the structure into various objects such as a tennis ball, snow globe, alien planet, whatever suits the theme of the event happening inside.

Speaking of the inside, MSG Sphere’s interior will be wrapped in a 170,000 square-foot LED screen.

“Just sitting there, what would it take to convince you that instead of sitting here in an airplane hangar in Las Vegas, you are sitting in your chair in the polar ice cap or an Amazon rainforest?” spoke Jim Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Company. “Obviously if you are in the polar ice cap, you have to feel cold; you have to see the glacier. That is essentially what we are building: an attempt to convince you that you are somewhere else.”

The venue will also support a location-specific audio via an adaptive acoustics system capable of directing sounds to particular locations around the arena at near-constant volumes. The company also teased advanced scent-based technology as well as physical haptic feedback – all of which changing depending on what immersive experience you find yourself engaged in at that time.

The MSG Sphere Las Vegas is scheduled to open 2020 on the Las Vegas Strip. The project is the result of a partnership between Madison Square Garden Company and Las Vegas Sands.

See the full story here: https://vrscout.com/news/multisensory-arena-vegas-2020/?mc_cid=cf4445db0f&mc_eid=663cfa8df4

21May/18Off

Biased Algorithms Are Everywhere, and No One Seems to Care

ainowThis week a group of researchers, together with the American Civil Liberties Union, launched an effort to identify and highlight algorithmic bias. The AI Now initiative was announced at an event held at MIT to discuss what many experts see as a growing challenge.

Algorithmic bias is shaping up to be a major societal issue at a critical moment in the evolution of machine learning and AI. If the bias lurking inside the algorithms that make ever-more-important decisions goes unrecognized and unchecked, it could have serious negative consequences, especially for poorer communities and minorities. The eventual outcry might also stymie the progress of an incredibly useful technology (see “Inspecting Algorithms for Bias”).

....“The Office of Science and Technology Policy is no longer actively engaged in AI policy—or much of anything according to their website,” Crawford and Whittaker write. “Policy work now must be done elsewhere.”

See the full story here: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608248/biased-algorithms-are-everywhere-and-no-one-seems-to-care/?utm_source=newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2018_05_10&utm_campaign=the_algorithm&utm_source=MIT+Technology+Review&utm_campaign=ac7c00e675-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_997ed6f472-ac7c00e675-156724689